Who doesn't love a good BOGO sale? Well, this week, just for Christmas, Carla and I got BOGO sinus infections!!! Yippee!!!! We are both taking drugs and hopefully are on the mend. I promise after the new year begins to get back into a more regular blogging routine!
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Monday, December 25, 2006
For toys, that is. My dearest Carla got me a toy for Christmas!!! A remote controlled snowmobile. It is awesome...luckily, it goes on grass and stuff too since we seem to be snow deprived this winter in the greater Pittsburgh area. I can't wait for snow even more now so I can play with it on the drifts! Talk about a gift that brings great joy!
And isn't that just how our God is too? Always giving gifts...ones we don't ask for...ones we don't deserve...ones will never earn...ones that bring true joy. On this Christmas, thank God for bringing Jesus into the world and into your life. Any may you look forward, if not to the snow, then to the joy that He will bring to you as you give yourself back to Him!! Merry Christmas, and "God bless us, every one!"
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
With my shopping that is! At least for Carla...we still have a few small family gifts to buy. She is baking cookies today...YUMMY!
Friday we are going to finish the shopping then I'll begin work on the dreaded "Homemade Christmas Gift." It is a family tradition in my mothers family that has gone on far too long! Morons like me are expected to make a homemade gift for an exchanged name chosen for us by some computer program. We morons compete with nearly professional artists and craftspersons. I pity the person whose name is chosen for me each year!
I'm working now on my Christmas Eve services and stuff and getting ready for our After School Ministry this afternoon. Can't wait!
Monday, December 18, 2006
I don't know about yins, but I am getting excited for Christmas. As a pastor, I love the time of the year where I can breathe a little. Christmas in the church is a time to have NO meetings!!! Christmas in the church is a time where I can sneak in a little "goofing off" time! Christmas in the church is a time to "be the church" and not just talk about it. I love it.
I love the candlelight Christmas Eve service.
I love our "new" friends at Cornerstone to share this sacred holyday with.
I love spending time with my family at Christmas.
I love buying gifts, and giving them, and yes, getting them.
I love Christmas morning, by the fire, sharing the Christmas story from Luke 2 with Carla.
I love Christmas, but mostly because I love Jesus!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Read this. I mean it, read it. Thanks!!!
y'mimber (that's brettspeak for "do you remember") the TV show The A Team? Now there was classic American entertainment! And y'mimber when Hannibal would always say "I love it when a plan comes together"? That was awesome! (Why do I suddenly sound like Chris Farley on the Chris Farley show...?)
Well I love it when a plan comes together too. But what if it doesn't? Ah, it is that timeless "we walk by faith, not by sight" concept that God used Paul to talk to us about. Sometimes I get bummed when I have to walk by faith...but shame on me! If I only walk by sight, then there is no need and no room for Jesus!! Thank you Lord for faith, and thanks for having a plan. May I be patient to see how your plan comes together...a plan of great blessing!!!
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Well, not me exactly. Rather, the Lord. Check it out:
In Isaiah 43:18-19, the Lord God says "Forget the former things;do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." (NIV)
It seems to me that a recurring theme in Scripture is newness. Our God is never satisfied with the status quo...He is always leading us onward and upward as we seek to honor Him and build His Kingdom. We cannot do that standing still, and we cannot do that dwelling on the past.
Today, I am meeting with some friends in the Homestead section of Pittsburgh to talk about how a church can be planted in this community. I am excited for the possibilities. It is a new thing, and a chance for God to make a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Sounds like Kingdom building to me!
Also, I'm very proud to serve the Lord through Cornerstone Church. We have not forgotten our roots, and we prove it by financially supporting new church starts...including the newest Pittsburgh Mills plant and the Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community. Keep up the great work Cornerstone!!!
Monday, December 11, 2006
Wow, what an awesome weekend. First of all, Carla and I got up at 5:00 on Saturday and went to the Mall at Robinson for the JC Penney Doorbuster Sale! We had a lot of fun Christmas shopping and came home to build a roaring fire in the fireplace and continue our Christmas preparations. Have I mentioned how much I love spending time with Carla? I know she has been short-changed lately as my schedule with Cornerstone stuff has been too hectic of late. It was a great day to catch up on one of the biggest reasons I love life...Carla.
Then yesterday, our worship service was awesome. I had the amazing privilege of baptizing a man and wife and their son. How cool it was! I preached from Revelation 3:14-22 and focused on how we need to be on fire for Jesus. This is a family that truly is!!! Cornerstone Church is another reason I love life!
I ended the day with our Senior High youth at my home. What a blast...they keep me young, smiling, and grounded. I praise God for them and I am committed to praying for them in this tough world. I'm just so thankful for their faithfulness.
This week should be a good one...because God is in it. He is the greatest reason I love life!!! I just want to focus on Him more and more. I want to see Jesus revealed to me, but maybe more THROUGH me, this Christmas. How about you?
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
Today, I sent a thank you note. If the recipient is reading this, you'll get it in the next day or so. She is the person who quietly, every week, makes sure there are fresh offering envelopes and sharp pencils in the chairs. She does this, I suspect, because she truly sees this as a ministry. I hope she does. I do, and I know the Lord does. In fact, my wife Carla and I were talking about how meaningful it is to walk into a church where it is obvious somebody cares. I can hear the lonely and despairing person saying "If the people care about how the pencils and envelopes look, perhaps they'll care about me."
I have a dream. I dream that Cornerstone will be the kind of church where everything is seen as ministry and a chance to touch somebody with the love of Jesus. I have a dream that we will never be satisfied with "good enough." I dream that every person who serves as a greeter would get up that morning on fire to do the Lord's work. I dream that they might see how much potential they have to be a friendly welcoming face to a guest, and that they can be the very first person to enter into some short, friendly dialogue with them.
I have a dream. I dream that we will have nursery workers who see that valuing children and valuing their parents is a way to show both the churched and those yet to be just how much Jesus makes our lives different. I dream that we show up early and stay late. I dream that we see each child as a gift to us and treat them as if they were our very own.
I have a dream. I dream that those who make coffee and prepare the snacks for our little kids will see the difference they are making. The church is the last place on earth where one is not welcome to have a cup of coffee. Not here! I dream that our people making coffee will "whistle while they work" and pray over each pot and each little serving of Goldfish...that the Lord will bless every one who receives.
I have a dream...well you get the picture. We are well on our way. But I will not rest until my dream is fulfilled: That EVERYTHING we do, we do for JESUS. And that we do it in such a way that He is pleased, and others recognize it!
Friday, December 01, 2006
...so I am going to put them in time out.
My nerves are bad....so I am going to scrap them and get good ones.
My nerves are bad...
What does that mean anyhow? Today is one of those days where "my nerves are bad." How do I know, because even the expression "my nerves are bad" is getting on my nerves!
Do you ever wonder why you have those days? To what is it attributed? What can cure it? Any tried and true methods out there in blog land?